Skip to Main Content

40-hour Community Intervention

The 40-Hour Intervention is an opportunity for MSW-ITR students to gain additional experience in trauma-informed approaches, with the guidance of a supervisor. This can occur through information and skills training, supporting a healing process, conducting community-based research, or contributing to policy enhancement and/or development.


Students without a BSW degree must complete the first year of the two-year program before they can participate in an intervention.

Students with a BSW degree may complete the intervention any time after completing the first intensive week on campus in the first year.

Finding Opportunities

The Coordinator, Indigenous Initiatives will e-mail information regarding 40-Hour Community Intervention opportunities as they become available.

If you have your own idea for a 40-Hour Community Intervention, contact the Coordinator, Indigenous Initiatives with the information to find out if the opportunity is eligible.

Once your 40-Hour Community Intervention has been confirmed, please share the following details with the Coordinator:

  • start and end dates;
  • hours per day;
  • supervisor’s name and e-mail address; and
  • description of activities.

If you encounter any challenges with your 40-hour community intervention, or if any of your plans change, contact the Coordinator, Indigenous Initiatives.


The student is typically responsible for costs of the 40-hour community intervention (e.g. accommodation, registration, meals, and transportation). Students are encouraged to apply for bursaries and scholarships to help offset the costs.

Some organizations cover associated costs. This information will always be included when an opportunity is being advertised.


A community intervention, covering 40 hours over a predetermined period, focuses on people’s behaviours and how changes in the environment can support those behaviours, from a model of trauma-informed practice. Examples include:

  • working with an agency towards a change in policy;
  • working with a trauma-informed school environment or a treatment center;
  • supporting the facilitation of trauma-informed organizational training or the creation of a trauma-informed resource;
  • contributing to a community-based research project;
  • volunteering at a trauma-informed conference or gathering as a helper or counsellor; and
  • an intervention that helps the community to start a healing process in breaking the silence around sexual violence and/or creating a safety network for victims and their families.

The Supervisor

Any community intervention must be completed with the support of a supervisor who is approved by the Practicum Office. The supervisor does not need to be a social worker but must be an experienced trauma-informed practitioner who can commit to overseeing your work and providing support, guidance, and practical help. They will also be required to submit an evaluation of your community intervention.

The supervisor will encourage and support the student to make the most of themself and to integrate their professional identity as a future trauma-informed practitioner.

The supervisor is the student’s trusted confidante, providing consistent support, guidance, and practical help, guiding the student to identify the support needed, to consider options, and to gain new information.

The Relationship

This one-to-one relationship is a two-way process in which the supervisor will share their personal skills, knowledge, and experience with the student to enable the student to explore their personal and professional situation. Together, student and supervisor will work to achieve predetermined goals and objectives. In this way, the student is enabled to gain the skill, knowledge, and confidence to develop their social work/trauma-informed practice at a higher level, and to receive impartial, non-judgmental guidance and support.

The Student

The key to success for the student in the intervention process is to be authentic. The student chooses what comes out of the experience. The more the student can observe and integrate knowledge and practical skills from the supervisor, the greater the success of the process. It is critical for the student to be able to put forth the following skills throughout the course of the intervention:

  • listening in order to understand;
  • questioning to clarify and make sure they have understood correctly;
  • questioning to explore additional options and consequences;
  • being prepared to act on what has been agreed with their mentor; and
  • daring to push themself through to another level of awareness and understanding of self.

The student is responsible for developing the following goals and shares and discusses them with their supervisor to keep the mentorship process on the right path:

  • know the community, agency, or project before attending the 40 hours;
  • identify where the student needs support;
  • set goals the student can work towards;
  • gauge how the student is doing;
  • keep an eye on the student’s own goals; and
  • honour the student’s success.

The Learning

The community intervention will require that the student reflect on the following as they plan, develop, and implement the intervention with the guidance of the supervisor:

  • What components and elements will be implemented?
  • Who should implement what, by when?
  • What resources and support are needed? What resources are available?
  • What potential barriers or resistance are expected? How will they be minimized?
  • What individuals or organizations need to be informed? What do you need to tell them?

There are six classes of components to consider when preparing for the community intervention:

  • providing information and skills training;
  • providing a healing process for emotional release;
  • enhancing support and resources;
  • community-based research;
  • policy enhancement and or development; and
  • monitoring and giving feedback.

What components will this intervention be addressing?


Upon completion of the 40-hour Community Intervention, both students and supervisors are required to independently complete the Community Intervention evaluation (PDF) and submit it to the Practicum Office.

Once received, the Practicum Office will confirm completion of 40 hours out of the 450 required hours for SWK 4703.